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The sources of growth in a technologically progressive economy: the United States, 1899‐1941

Bakker, Gerben ORCID: 0000-0001-6109-0693, Crafts, Nicholas and Woltjer, Pieter (2019) The sources of growth in a technologically progressive economy: the United States, 1899‐1941. The Economic Journal, 129 (622). 2267 - 2294. ISSN 0013-0133

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Identification Number: 10.1093/ej/uez002


We develop new aggregate total factor productivity (TFP) growth estimates for the USA between 1899 and 1941, and sectoral estimates at the most disaggregated level so far, 38 industries. We include hard-to-measure services, and a refined measure of sectoral labour quality growth. The resulting data set supersedes Kendrick (1961), showing TFP growth lower than previously thought, broadly based across industries, and strongly variant intertemporally. The four ‘great inventions’ that Gordon (2016) highlighted were important but less dominant in TFP growth than their predecessors in the British industrial revolution. The findings also make it unlikely the 1930s had the twentieth century's highest TFP growth.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 Royal Economic Society
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2018 13:46
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2024 00:54
Projects: 360-53-102
Funders: STICERD, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

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